(8/10) For all fans of the 80's series 'Dallas' the abbreviation 'CB' stand for Cliff Barnes, the counterpart of JR Ewing. For all fans of good rock music with a progressive approach 'CB' stands for another 'Mr. Barnes'. It is the Leeds-based musician Charlie Barnes who worked on his solo debut that will be released in the coming days. "More stately mansions" is the name of the longplayer that was mainly recorded in the Chapel Studios in Lincolnshire. The vocals have been put down in an isolotaed cottage in the middle of Wales.
I haven't heard about Barnes so far and I was curious and doubting when I have first seen the cover. A well-dressed guy and a nice haircut that looks like the excellent version of a son in law was facing me. So, what kind of music to expect?
After having listened to the album several times things got clearer. As mentioned earlier we are talking about rock music, that contains quite some progressive elements - without becoming complicated.
The album starts very slow with piano and vocals. Talking about the vocals I can say that Barnes' voice covers quite range that goes up to a higher pitch. I don't want to go that far to compare him with the legendary Freddie Mercury, but there are some moment on the album where you can hear some parallels. Anyhow, the sound of the 70's Queen comes up to surface in some of the more rocking element which gives the disc a certain unpredictable hardness.
"More stately mansions" is an album that also comes with a very dense sound. It is well produced and fits this kind of music in an excellent way.
If you are looking for something else than musical fastfood you have found the right album with "More stately mansions". This record demands some time from you and the willingness to dive into the songs. The reward will be some music that can keep you excited for quite a while. In context of the album's title I would say that Barnes' debut is a stately one.
- More stately mansions
- Sing to God
- Easy, kid
Label: Superball Music